work in progress, 2012-
In the fall of 2012, after doing a series of images that had a metaphoric relationship to the degenerating body, my attentioned turned towards portraiture and presence. Whereas we often go for eye contact in a portrait, because it makes us feel like we can ‘meet’ the subject, this is obviously an illusion – there is no meeting of eyes between a photograph and a viewer.
On the basis of this trivial paradox I initiated a project, where I have photographed people in different states of being. One lost his sight at birth, two see a little, two have been photographed while guided by a hypnotherapist. All in the search of presence – real or fake. I was looking (honestly, I was more staring than looking) for shifts in attention in the sitter. When do we have our attention turned inwards (think of the illusionary ideal of being able to “look inside yourself”) and when are we directing ourselves on onto the world?